The Sony Pictures Presentation From CinemaCon 2023
Sony Pictures kicked off CinemaCon 2023 with their presentation; stepping up to the plate to showcase a handful of their upcoming projects. Their presentation highlighted some of the 23 titles expected to release this year.
They proudly declared their devotion to theatrical releases, so no, they did not announce any streaming service (thank god, our bank accounts can’t handle any more). What audiences did receive was a curated breakdown highlighting Sony’s acute awareness that they don’t have a massive comic book well to draw from. Instead, Sony rightly emphasized the need for diversity of genre and medium in the theatres.
Check out what we learned from the Sony Pictures presentation below:
Back in the Saddle
Kickstarting the presentation was a welcome video from Will Smith and Martin Lawrence that showed off their effortless chemistry and comedic chops.
Bad Boys is back in action after Bad Boys for Life made $426.5 million on a $90 million budget. It goes without saying; the Bad Boys franchise is alive and well, and as long as it makes money at the box office, it will keep going.
Similarly, after Ghostbusters: Afterlife revived the Ghostbusters franchise, a sequel to the 2021 movie is in production now. Carrie Coon, Finn Wolfhard, Mckenna Grace, and Paul Rudd are back and heading to New York, where it all started.
Original Sony IP
Sony’s slate included a mix of original Ip and purchased IP, and The Equalizer 3 is an example of the original projects that have grown organically within Sony.
Starring CinemaCon’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Denzel Washington, The Equalizer 3 sees Robert McCall come face to face with his match. The former assassin has retreated to Southern Italy, but his need to protect has him in the crosshairs of the Sicilian Mafia. The cherry on top is that Dakota Fanning will reunite with Washington on screen for the first time in 20 years since Man on Fire.
The Insidious franchise has been providing scares for more than a decade, and Insidious: The Red Door is taking us back to where it all started. Patrick Wilson returns as Josh and takes on directing duties.
The story follows the Lamberts after their horrific adventures in 2010’s Insidious and 2013’s Insidious: Chapter 2; Ty Simpkins, Andrew Astor, Rose Byrne and Lin Shaye reprise their roles. Josh and Dalton have suppressed their memories, but that doesn’t stop the demons and the hauntings. They must, once again, band together to stop evil.
Sony was very adamant about having a variety of films from numerous genres, and with 23 movies on their slate this year, that ambition is being fulfilled.
At the presentation, Sony presented three R-rated comedies, starting with No Hard Feelings, which garnered plenty of buzz after the release of its trailer. The coming-of-age sex comedy is loosely based on a true story and fully displays Jennifer Lawrence’s comedic chops.
Anybody But You is a raunchy romantic comedy and a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing starring Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell. The sizzle reel of the recently shot film (which only wrapped mere days before Sweeny and Powell took the stage) may have committed the cardinal sin of having a teaser expose too much. Still, from what we can see, the destination may be predictable. Still, the journey will be a sexy, jolly good time.
The Machine falls on the other end of the spectrum, as the action-comedy follows the crazy adventures of Bert Kreischer with the Russians he wronged when he was in college. The hilarious actioner is inspired by Bert’s stand-up routine, where he recounts the insane time he had while studying abroad for a semester; rising comedy actor Jimmy Tatro plays younger Bret. Mark Hamill will play Bert’s father, who accidentally gets roped into the madcap adventure 20 years after his son messed up.
During the presentation, Sony expressed delight with the wealth of stores and movie potential from their partnership with PlayStation.
Gran Turismo is the latest to find itself adapted to the big screen, but this story follows the true story of triumph Jann Mardenborough. The biographical coming-of-age sports drama (directed by Neill Blomkamp) follows Jann Mardenborough, who entered a Nissan-sponsored video game competition to become an actual professional race car driver. Orlando Bloom and David Harbour lead alongside Archie Madekwe, who is poised for a breakout moment.
Sony has two notable Marvel flicks on the horizon. Representing the animation portion of the presentation is the highly anticipated sequel to Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, and Spider-Man: Across The Universe.
The latest Spider-outing finds Miles Morales at a new precipice. He first learned that anyone can wear the mask, and now he must learn how to wear the mask. Gwen is on a similar journey as she finds her own mentor in Jessica Drew, voiced by the new cast member Issa Rae. This journey into the Spider-Verse will give us more Spider-people and a considerable leap in innovation and imagination.
While Across The Spider-Verse is a fun animated film for the whole family and all ages, Kraven the Hunter is neither. The first footage shown of the movie shows Aaron Taylor-Johnson as the feral and vicious Kraven in what appears to be his origin story. We got meaty arms, animal-like movements, violent action, and Kraven biting off enemy noses.
Sony has teamed up with Apple Studios for the release of Ridley Scott’s latest historical epic Napoleon. The film will be available to stream globally on Apple TV+ in November after a robust theatrical release by Sony.
This is a sign that Sony is not inherently anti-streaming; instead, they acknowledge the symbiotic relationship for both and the value (monetarily and culturally) of a theatrical release. The footage shown is an extended battle sequence that highlights Napoleon Bonaparte’s ruthless tactics as the French figure holds his own against formidable foes.
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